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Saturday February 24th 2018

TSC Round 4 Tau vs Dark Angels (non Deathwing Company)

Round 4 Tau (Garry) vs Dark Angels (Chris)
Dawn of War, Seize Ground (5 Objectives)

Tau patrols attempt to recover remnants of a downed patrol wing in a marshy wasteland. Dark Angels assault troops race to retrieve the alien artefacts first.

Battlefield:
Another themed battlefield containing both Tau and Space Marine wrecks and lots of scattered area-terrain, ruins and elevated edges.

I place three objectives across the centre of the board, Chris’s objectives are placed behind terrain features, away from line-of-sight.

Deployment:
Both sides deploy conservatively, each refusing to move too far into the mid-field. My Fire Warriors deploy on two pieces of elevated terrain, overlooking the Dark Angels’ deployment area. Chris’ tactical marines deploy close to his two primary objectives – leaving the central objective the only one uncontested by either side.

Round 4 Tau Deployment

Battle:

My first turn was focused on deploying the Pathfinders in the mid-field with sight-lines throughout the majority of the board. Their Devilfish transport loiters in front of them to provide cover in the open ground. A lucky shot by my Hammerheads moving in from the flanks allowed me to wreck one of Chris’ Rhino transports, forcing the Tactical Marines out of their transport and huddle around their primary objective.

My Hammerheads make cautious moves into the centre and left flanks to reinforce the Pulse Rifle team already deployed, whilst Kroot soldiers scurry to bolster the gunlines. All my battlesuit teams spread throughout my lines, utilising the Skimmers and terrain as cover.

Chris starts his turn aggressively, focusing a powerful mix of Space Marine Bikers and Assault Marines to advance down my left flank. His bikers turbo-boost, granting him a cover save against any plasma rifle shots I direct toward him. Poor spotting rolls mean that his forces fail to fire an early shot.

On my second turn, two Fire Warrior teams on my right flank embark onto their transports to swing around Chris’ left flank in an attempt to create a crossfire over the central objective and Chris’ deployment area. A lone Predator Destructor guards his flank.

My first priority is to destroy the Bikers, who are within assault distance to my entrenched Fire Warriors and Pathfinders. With the aid of Markerlights, I was able to destroy all but one of the bikers – the one with a meltagun.

Chris’ deep-striking Terminators become available from reserve and attempt to land in front of my lines, but poor scattering rolls take him further away.

A Deathwing squad teleports onto the field

Chris advances yet again, but instead of assaulting my troops, his bikers fire a Meltagun shot into my Hammerhead gunship, sending it crashing into the marsh. His Assault marines could jump into possible charging distance to my warriors, but instead they jump behind terrain away from my line-of-sight to avoid fire in case his troops don’t reach assault range. To make up for the shortened charge, a pair of dreadnoughts advance, firing plasma and lascannon shots into my battlesuit teams – instantly killing one of my commanders. His Predator swings into action, firing all weapons into my lines, but fail to do significant damage. The newly arrived Terminators fire accurately into my gunlines, but my troops survive the fusillade.

In my next shooting phase, all my rifle and Kroot teams were still almost at full-strength, and wasted no time firing a hail of energy bolts into the Assault Marines and Terminators, depleting both squads to just a couple of models. My devilfish positioned in front of my Pathfinders rams into one of the Dreadnoughts, which is finished off by the Railgun of my remaining Hammerhead tank. Pulse carbine warriors and an XV8 team approach the side-armour of the predator and a lucky missile causes it to explode.

The Dark Angels Commander consults his rulebook as a Devilfish transport rams his Dreadnought

Ezekiel makes a late-game show of force by charging into my remaining commander who neglected to jump back, killing him in a duel but without his assault troops intact, Chris begins to move his troops into a defensive arc around his objectives, leaving me free to take the centre objective in the final turn of the game.

Outcome:

Tau Victory

My Thoughts on the Game:

There were some really scary moments in this game – particularly when Terminators, Bikers and Assault Marines all reached assault distance to my lines, but luckily the sheer volume of Tau fire was able to neutralise the early threat.

Ezekiel, and the Dark Angels Tactical Marines saw very little of the battle and instead fiercely guarded their primary objectives – the game could have been very different if they had advanced with the rest of the troops. Chris made some incredibly bold moves to reach my lines, but unfortunately not enough models could survive to reach my troops in close-combat.

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